Refugee Council in North Rhine-Westphalia: Helping refugees from Ukraine who do not have a Ukrainian passport

PRO ASYL and Refugee Councils warn: some war refugees from Ukraine will have to leave the country from September!

Six months after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, PRO ASYL and state refugee councils draw attention to war refugees who do not have a Ukrainian passport and who, due to new regulations as of September 1, are at risk of being forgiven and deported. “All people who fled the war in Ukraine must be treated equally: they must be given protection and security so that they can develop their prospects in Germany. This is part of the change of course promised by the federal government in asylum and immigration policy,” says Judith Webeck, head of the legal team The law firm in ASYL PRO. They fled with the same bombs from Ukraine – but in Germany they do not have the same bombs rights: those who seek protection with or without Ukrainian citizenship. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, 97 percent of people who fled to Germany from Ukraine have a Ukrainian passport. This means that about three percent, about 29,000 people, do not yet have the security of temporary protection — and according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, they still cannot get it. Until August 31, with the help of the transitional regulation, they can still do this without a visa and without a residence permit living in Germany.

But on September 1, their situation becomes very precarious: anyone who has stayed in Germany for more than 90 days and does not yet have a residence permit, will be forced to leave the country and can be deported. If you apply for a residence permit in time, the resulting placebo effect may mean that your residence will remain legal until a decision is made on the application. The federal state of Berlin provides a good example – but not enough people who have escaped can be deported. Even if they have a passport from another country, the war in Ukraine is a disaster for many, destroying life prospects. Germany must finally give them protection and security with a right of residence comparable to temporary protection,” says Tariq Alaos of the Refugee Council in Berlin on behalf of the state councils for refugees. PROASYL and state refugee councils have already called for this from federal and state politicians in the lead-up to Interior Ministers Conference in June 2022.

The federal state of Berlin is taking a first step in this direction and is issuing at least all third-state students from Ukraine studying for a fake degree, with which they can continue to legally reside in Germany for six months. But this is often not enough to meet the high requirements for obtaining a residence permit for the purposes of study or for paid work. “The Berlin initiative is welcome, but the problem was only delayed for six months and was not resolved,” says Tariq Al-Aws. In addition, it is not enough for states to take action. The Federal Home Office should work on a nationwide solution,” Wiebke Judith-gen demands for a residence permit. The Federal Home Office must report this to all responsible state and local authorities.

If Germany can retain these people, it will also contribute to combating the shortage of skilled workers and workers, as many of this group are trying to find work, training or studies. Germany needs about 400,000 people a year to cover the demand for skilled labor. So it would be a paradoxical step to deport people who are already here Background: The pool of refugees from Ukraine without a Ukrainian passport is diverse. There are students – many of whom are about to graduate – for example from West and North Africa and Turkey who are not allowed to study in their home countries for political or socio-economic reasons. The group also includes, for example, businessmen from Vietnam; people who fled the repressive regimes of Minsk and Moscow; Workers from Uzbekistan and other neighboring countries. Then there are the de facto stateless people (including members of the Roma minority) who have spent their entire lives in Ukraine. They all lost their center of life when war broke out in Ukraine. Third-country nationals can only obtain a residence permit based on an EU decision under strictly defined conditions, namely that they cannot return to their country of origin under “safe and permanent conditions”, enjoy protection status or live in a family unit with Ukrainian citizens.

This text is from the North Rhine-Westphalia Refugee Council personally.

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